Have you ever looked at a restaurant's menu and wished you could see the food before you order? Is the lobster ravioli worth the price, or will you be stuffing your face on fast food later? Perhaps, instead, you've traveled to a new country and had no idea what you were ordering, opting to trust your blind intuition. The Japanese have figured this out, and it comes in the form of beautiful and lifelike artificial foods.
In the ancient city of Gujō, Japan, one of the top tourist attractions is the world-renowned food replica factory. Yes, you read that correctly. The artificial food, or sampuru, business began in 1917 in Gujo Hachiman (now Gujō), Japan. There's a romanticized legend that Japan's father of fake food, Takizo Iwasaki, simply had an epiphany one day as he sat with his ill wife by candlelight and was inspired by the melting wax. The more likely story is that he wanted to replicate the success of the wax skin and organ replicas that were used for medical studies at the time by being a pioneer in the food industry.